Schema Theraphy

What is Schema Therapy?

Schema Therapy is a needs-based approach, and it is designed to address unmet needs and to help clients with their thinking patterns, emotional reactions and behaviours by developing healthier coping tools.

It is a comprehensive therapy model which aims at both building awareness and creating change in your life. Some therapy approaches only focus on the current problems and enabling change and some other therapy approaches might tend to focus on the past events and building awareness. Schema therapy seeks the right balance between these two different therapy schools. It focuses on the origins of the current problems to use this knowledge for creating a long-term solution. Therefore, schema therapy is focused on creating life transformations.

What are schemas?

Schema therapy’s target is identifying and changing unhelpful schemas. Schemas are negative, stable, enduring, long term patterns which consist of important beliefs and feelings about oneself and the others which arose as a result of the unmet needs in childhood. Schemas are not always in awareness; they get triggered by the events. You might feel perfectly fine for a while and the next day you might find yourself struggling. When a schema is triggered, we experience debilitating struggles, sometimes even mental health issues and might not cope with the challenges in life because a maladaptive schema consists of negative beliefs and unhelpful coping tools. When our schemas are activated, we might get triggered by small things and tend to overreact, getting stuck in similar situations, forming unhelpful relationships and engaging in unhelpful coping tools.

How does Schema Therapy work?

The goal in schema therapy is empowering the healthy adult in you which represents good judgment, psychological health, and maturity. Schema therapy is going to help to meet the unmet core needs; as a result, schemas would get triggered less frequently and less intensely with the possibility of a quick recovery. Schema therapy aims for you to get triggered less, be impacted by the triggers less and have healthy coping tools which you can use to cope with the difficulties in life.

We start with the awareness building phase and then to move on to the change phase with regular sessions.

What happens in the initial sessions of Schema Therapy?

You are going to find out more about your schemas which will help you to feel more empowered to give them up. We are also going to talk about your early life experiences when we see a link between your current issues and past life.

What happens in a regular Schema Therapy Session?

Schema therapy is a structured and a goal focused approach. Each session is an opportunity to work towards the therapy goals. We usually start with a check-in to have a look at the previous week, see if any of the schemas are activated and then continue working on the activated schemas with different techniques.

Schema Therapy Techniques

Chair work: The technique is used with the goal of clients to externalise the schemas, to see how they operate in their lives and strengthen the healthy adult mode while making other unhealthy modes less effective in their lives.

Imagery: Imagery rescripting exercises are used to challenge schemas at the emotional level to build healthier emotional patterns.

Behavioural Pattern Breaking: Behavioural pattern breaking techniques focus on replacing schema or mode driven patterns of behaviour with more healthier ones. We discuss with the client where to initiate the behavioural change and decide on next steps.

Issues Treated with Schema Therapy

You will find Schema Therapy useful for you if any of the below applies to you.

  • You experience low levels of self-esteem, and struggle with self-worth.
  • You have relationship difficulties or struggle to build satisfying relationships.
  • You struggle with friendships.
  • You worry a lot.
  • You feel constantly low.
  • You have body image problems.
  • You have eating problems and/ or eating disorders.
  • You struggle with unhelpful coping tools in life such as binge watching, binge eating, high amount of alcohol consumption or usage of drugs.
  • You have been to therapy before it helped you with awareness building but struggle to change things.
  • You had a difficult childhood.

About Me:

Tennur Katgi is an accredited Schema Therapist based in London. She mainly utilizes Schema Therapy in her psychotherapy practice and helping clients with anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship difficulties, personality disorders and low-self confidence.